Justice from above? The role of international criminal tribunals in transition countries

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) are about to close their doors and have already considerably scaled down their activities. Due to widespread criticism concerning of their case selection, proceedings and judgments, and their dependence on state cooperation, both tribunals together with the International Criminal Court have seen their legitimacy undermined. The project examines previously collected evidence about international criminal courts’ impact on media, public perceptions, elite perception and institutional reform in countries under their jurisdiction and reflects upon more feasible future avenues of legal globalization: Are hybrid tribunals, truth commissions and novel institutions, which are more closely connected to their constituencies more likely to achieve the efficiency and fairness, that allows them to garner the necessary legitimacy? The project draws on international criminal law, transition and democratization studies, philosophy and political science and the crucial notions of popular and elite legitimacy and uses data, that have been collected and processed in several earlier research projects.

Project leader(s):
  • Klaus Bachmann (Department of Political Science,University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw)
STIAS fellow(s):
  • Gerhard Kemp (Department of Public Law, University of Stellenbosch)
  • Dire Tladi (Department of Public Law, University of Pretoria)

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